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Is There a Magic Weight Loss Carb?

Brown ... white ... high index -- all terms used to describe carbohydrates. But is there one that can really help you drop a few extra pounds? Oprah thinks so. See what the experts think.

Benefits of High-Fiber Carbs

"We eat way too many calories and way too many empty calories," she says. "Fiber can help you avoid overeating. We've also found that fiber can bind with cholesterol in the digestive tract, thus lowering blood cholesterol."

Another important point about fiber-rich foods is that they tend to be loaded with phytochemicals that appear to have anticancer functions, says Kumar

"Pertaining to cancer, we've found 65 or so non-nutrients and nutrients that have action against cancer," she says. "We've seen soy, lycopene, bicarbanol, to name just a few of these, have significant effect against various cancers."

Along with these benefits and its role in weight maintenance, fiber helps prevent the following:

  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Appendicitis
  • Diverticulosis -- an intestinal disease where pockets, which can become infected, develop in the intestinal lining

The next time you have a choice about what to buy at the store -- for instance, between fluffy, white bread and a dark, brown loaf of whole wheat -- what do you do?

"Buy the bread that you have to drag out of the store, because the loaf is so heavy and dense," says Kumar. "Everything comes down to the amount of fiber you can get into your food."

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Reviewed on March 05, 2003

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